Happily Not Newlyweds

When my husband and I were first married, we watched the Newlywed Game nearly every night and would always play along with the contestants. Nine times out of ten our score would easily beat the winning couple’s, and we would wonder how some newlyweds could score so poorly.

Recently, we tuned in to the Newlywed Game, figuring that after nearly 12 years of marriage, we’d breeze through without a problem. It makes sense right? When you live and love through thick and thin for well over a decade, it stands to reason that you’d know each other better than ever.

We were wrong.

We’ve played along for several games and always scored towards the middle range of the newlywed contestants. And it wasn’t just him or just me that was throwing our games. We were both equally responsible for our mediocre scores. What the?

At first, I was really disheartened. I thought, “Have we grown apart? Do we not care for each other the way that we used to? Are we no longer tuned into each other with the passion and attentiveness that the newbies share?”

Then I turned my attention from the scores to the questions themselves. They weren’t very different from the questions that were typical of the game in 1999, other than the heavier concentration of naughty sex questions that make me blush even now. So, I don’t think the change in our game was because the questions were trickier.

Then it dawned on me. The questions may not have changed, but we have. A lot. The Newlywed Game’s lines of questioning are rather superficial, focusing on trivial idiosyncrasies that drive you nuts in those early years when you’re really learning to live together. They don’t account for the changes that happen as a marriage matures and develops.

At the risk of sounding cliched, I truly love my husband more every day. We’ve had more laughs and weathered more storms in the last 12 years than most couples do in a lifetime. We may not pay as much attention to how long the other takes to do his or her hair in the morning or give much thought to who calls the other more when we’re apart, but that’s because our marriage and life together has evolved.

We do still care about what makes each other tick, whether we’re talking about what toppings we each prefer on our pizza or what position the other favors in the old love nest. But, rather than picking apart the little things, we’re busy sharing the ins and outs of the big things that are the more important hallmarks of the marriage and life we’ve built together, like our three little stooges.

I don’t think I’ll ever play along with the Newlywed Game again, because those questions just don’t apply to us anymore. We’re past that stage of our marriage and have moved on to bigger and better things. We’re not cutesie, make you wanna barf newlyweds anymore. Now, if the Exhausted, But Happy Lifer’s Game ever hits cable, we’re totally in.


Photo: flickr.com/photos/50841708@N00/408909320

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